“The alarming rise of SGBV cases, especially in Edo, calls for the employment of drastic measures to adequately tackle SGBV and to ensure that perpetrators are not only made to answer for their crimes but are made to feel the full brunt of the law.
“The sexual offender register is to serve as a tool to name and shame those convicted or reported to have engaged in sexual abuse or exploitation.
“Would-be employers, especially those working with vulnerable citizens, such as children, young adults, and persons with disabilities, are encouraged to carry out background checks for would-be applicants.”
While the incumbent governor believes godfatherism has been destroyed at the state level, he says the goal is to end it at the Federal level, making reference to a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu, who had earlier on Tuesday in a broadcast, asked voters to reject him (Obaseki).
“Then, the real one that is disturbing Nigeria, he came up yesterday with some strange conference. He is afraid; he knows that when we finish the Edo god-father on Saturday, then it is him next and by the grace of God, we will end godfatherism in Nigeria.”
Obaseki said he was confident of his victory on Saturday, saying over one hundred groups have endorsed him, including the Nigeria Labour Congress, the Nigerian Union of Teachers, the association of welders, among others.
“With so many groups, more than 120 groups endorsing me and my deputy as governor, who is left?,” he said.
After weeks of controversial campaigns and events, the election is set to hold on Saturday with both Governor Obaseki of the PDP and Osagie Ize-Iyamu of the APC, widely believed to be leading candidates.
Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo has accused his predecessor, Adams Oshiomhole, of putting the State in debt and “borrowing recklessly.”
Obaseki made the allegation on Sunday during the Edo Governorship debate organized by Channels Television.
“Let me make some points very clear. What happened is that my predecessor in office borrowed recklessly and the Federal Government had to restructure all the debts that we have taken before I came into office,” Obaseki said while answering a question about the debt profile of the State.
“These included a whole series of bank borrowings, borrowing to pay salaries. So, the Federal Government restructured outstanding obligations to Edo State, to the tune of almost N30 billion. That was what was responsible for adding to the debt stock, not borrowings from this administration.”
He also alleged that the immediate past government was owing contractors, amounting to about N70 billion, pegging the debt owed by the state at more than N120 billion.
Despite having a debt burden, Obaseki has given his administration thumps up for servicing the debt and also providing the needed development to the people.
Is It Sustainable?
“It is not the quantum of debts, it is what you use the debts to procure,” the PDP candidate added. “So as long as you are able to invest your borrowings productively and ensure growth in the economy, then you have enough income to pay back those debts on a sustainable basis.”
While thanking God and Edo people for trusting him to lead them, Obaseki said things standing on the path of growth have been bulldozed.
Obaseki promised if given another opportunity to serve as the Edo State Governor, to open up the State to endless possibilities.
– Scandalous –
His main challenger and the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the Edo State election, Osagie Ize-Iyamu, says Governor Obaseki has spent over 75billion naira on projects that have all gone to waste.
“It is scandalous that the incumbent governor is attributing the huge debt owed by Edo State, to a predecessor in whose government Obaseki served as a chief economic adviser,” he alleged.
“Sometimes you seem to forget the role you played in the past government,” the APC candidate told Obaseki.
The ADP candidate claimed that many “government schools do not have labs. I can tell you that if you go to government schools, you would see bushes and grasses everywhere.”
He equally lamented that the educational legacy of the immediate past government of Adams Oshiomhole has been abandoned and decried the dearth of infrastructure in public schools in the south-south state.
“The red roof revolution by the previous government is decaying,” the youngest candidate in the election noted even as he questioned “the importance of building structures without intellectual structures?”
The candidate of the Allied Peoples’ Movement (APM) in the Edo State governorship elections, Igbineweka Osamuede, has promised to revamp the healthcare system in the state if he is elected governor.
At a governorship debate hosted by Channels Television in Edo State on Friday, Osamuede said under his administration, he would ensure that residents don’t have to leave the state for their healthcare needs.
“With my government, the problems in healthcare will be a thing of the past. I don’t think anybody will leave Edo State to go outside the country for any treatment,” he said.
Speaking further, Osamuede said he will look into the establishment of technical schools, grant loans for small scale businesses and explore the cultural heritage of the Edo people.
However, to deliver those projects, the AMP candidate said the state needs to generate more money.
According to him, the previous governments have borrowed so much money, now leaving the state in debt.
“Edo State is owing a lot of money right now because the government has been borrowing. The past administration and this present one have borrowed a lot and what they have been using it for is just infrastructure and in my own time, if I come in, with a very good understanding of the House of Assembly members, we can raise funds outside the country. We are only going into the trading platforms and we will generate funds from there,” he said.
“Also, allocation is coming from the Federal Government, when it comes, we can be able to invest in all the projects we are talking about.
“One of them will be technical schools for each of the three geopolitical zones. We can build it and educate these youths.
“Secondly, cultural heritage; Edo state has a whole lot of cultural heritage. We have a whole lot of stories to tell and we can go into this industry.
“We will invest in small scale businesses by granting loans”.
The Edo Governorship election will take place on September 19th, 2020.
As the people of Edo State gear up for the governorship elections, some of the candidates will be sharing their plans for the state, should they win the elections coming up on September 19.
The aspirants who will be participating in the debate are: Iboi Emmanuel of the Action Democratic Party (ADP), Bishop Akhalamhe for the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP), Amb Jones Osajiobare, for the Young Progressive Party (YPP), Agol Ebun Tracy for the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPC) and Igbineweka Osamuede, the candidate of the Allied Peoples’ Movement (APM).
Candidates’ Full Profile
Iboi Emmanuel (ADP)
– At 36, he is the youngest candidate in the election.
– He studied Computer Science at the University of Benin
– His mum is a trader in one of the markets in Benin City.
– He says he has worked in the APC Presidential Campaign Office under the present Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola.
Bishop Amiemenoghena Akhalamhe (ZLP)
– He has asked Obaseki and Ize-Iyamu to step down.
– He contested in the 2016 governorship election under the People for Democratic Change (PDC).
– He is an accountant by training.
– He has said he will resuscitate Edo Line Transport Service
Ambassador Jones Osagiobare – Edo (YPP).
– He is 52 years old.
– Born and resides in Benin City and hails from Ikpoba Okha local government area.
– He is a clergyman, politician and businessman.
– Worked with Julius Berger between 1991 and 1994.
– He said he is there to win and not complete the numbers.
– Wants to capitalize on the failures of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
– Ready to build a Technology Village; tackle human trafficking via job creation and mechanisation of agriculture.
Agol Ebun Tracy
– She was born in 1972 in Ibadan, Oyo State.
-She is a trader and resides in Benin City
Igbineweka Osamuede (APM)
-He is 42 years old, was born and resides in Benin City.
-Osamuede graduated from the Ambrose Alli University in 2002.
– He is a businessman and has been self-employed since 2003 till date.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) says the Buhari Presidency’s response to public uproar over the visit of the APC candidate in the Edo governorship election, Osagie Ize-Iyamu, is an acceptance that the APC candidate is corrupt as alleged.
The party says the response by the Buhari Presidency also reinforced allegations by the sacked national chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiomhole, that the APC candidate is a person of questionable character who is unfit to hold office as governor of Edo state.
The PDP in a statement by its spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan notes that with its defence and endorsement of a person it is prosecuting for corruption, the Buhari Presidency has confirmed that it is not fighting corruption, contrary to its promises, but had become a safe haven for corrupt persons.
The PDP said it is berating the Buhari Presidency for referring to unrelated cases and struggling to justify its widely condemned endorsement of an individual it is prosecuting for corruption.
“By its response, the Buhari Presidency has turned itself into a defender of corruption and advocate for persons charged for corrupt acts in our country.
“Yet, this is Presidency that claimed to have zero tolerance for corruption; pretended that it cannot eat with corrupt people with the longest of spoons, only to be found struggling to justify why it is swimming in an ocean of corruption.
“Moreover, beyond the case in court, this is an individual, that APC former national chairman had openly described as a thief, treasury looter, acid bather and who, according to Oshiomhole, is only fit for “night meetings” and not for the position of the governor of Edo state.
“The PDP said such stance by the Buhari Presidency is an assault on the sensibilities of the people of Edo state, who have openly registered their rejection of Ize-Iyamu.
“Furthermore, our party notes the absence of President Buhari, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, and other top officials of the APC administration at Ize-Iyamu’s campaign flag-off, apparently to dissociate themselves and the government from his baggage of corruption allegation,” the PDP stated.
According to the party, this last-minute stunt has exposed the pretence of Buhari Presidency towards the fight against corruption and further exposed Ize-Iyamu as described by Oshiomhole.
The PDP said it is imperative to place on record that the people of Edo state have already made up their minds to reelect Governor Godwin Obaseki, come September 19.
Following what has now been termed the “failed invasion” of the Edo State House of Assembly (EDHA) Complex, the Speaker of the Assembly, Rt. Hon. Frank Okiye, has advised the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, not to allow his office to be used by unscrupulous persons to turn Edo State into a theatre of war.
Okiye, in a letter written to the AGF, and dated August 06, 2020, said he was certain that the AGF “did not have all the facts relevant to the matter before it issued the advisory and directive to the Police to intervene in the affairs of the Edo State House of Assembly.”
According to the Speaker, “My attention has just been drawn to a letter dated 5th of August, 2020, issued under your hand and addressed to the Inspector General of Police, wherein you issued an advisory and directed the Police to inter alia: provide adequate security for the purpose of the inauguration of the concerned members and the subsequent sittings of the Edo State House of Assembly.”
Okiye, who shared details of pending and concluded litigation having a bearing on the Assembly, said, the Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, with Suit no. FHC/PH/CS/159/19, gave a final judgment on September 19, 2019, and held that the Assembly was properly inaugurated on June 17, 2019, and that the House is sitting and carrying out its functions, adding: “The Court also restrained the Governor of Edo State or any other person from issuing the second proclamation to restart the House.”
He continued: “Suit no. FHC/AB/CS/1582/2019: Rt. Hon. Victor Sabor Edoror and 13 others against Hon. Frank Okiye (The Speaker, Edo State House of Assembly, and Anor. This is a suit filed by the then 14 member-elect of the Edo State House of Assembly, who refused to take the oath of office and consequent upon which their seats were declared vacant by the Speaker of the Edo State House of Assembly. They filed this suit to challenge the declaration of their seats vacant by the Edo State House of Assembly. The case is still pending in Federal High Court No. 4, Abuja.
“Suit No. B/81/OS/2019: Rt. Hon. Victor Edoror and 2 Ors vs Hon. Frank Okiye and Ors. In this suit, the claimants which were members-elect of the Edo State House of Assembly, who refused to take the oath of office, challenged the proclamation made by the Governor of Edo State to hold the first sitting of the House on the 17th day of June 2019 and election of officers of the House. This suit is currently pending before Hon. Justice S. A. Omonua.”
“From the foregoing, it is clear that all matters relating to the functioning or otherwise of the Edo State House of Assembly and/or its members are sub judice”, the Speaker added.
Okiye said: “It would, therefore, be clear that the course of action which you have urged upon the Inspector General of Police would, in fact, amount to a grievous assault on the rule of law, separation of powers and respect for judicial authority.
“As expected, the attempt to give effect to your said directive the very next day, 6th August 2020, gave rise to a serious breakdown of law and order in Benin City and almost degenerated into violence within the city as those persons who had surreptitiously obtained your endorsement, attempted to use the powers of the Police to take over the premises of the Edo State House of Assembly in defiance of clear orders of competent courts to the contrary.”
He noted: “I am certain that if your office had had all these facts, it would certainly not have issued the directive under reference. I am also apprehensive about the political interpretations which could be given to the contents of the directive and the speed with which those concerned sought to execute their agenda.
“In consequence of the foregoing, I would urge that your office take another look at the entirety of the matter in order to ensure that due process and respect for the legal institutions are not sacrificed at the altar of the selfish and ruthless egos and ambitions of those who wish to keep our state perpetually under their control.
“Given the fact that we are six (6) weeks away from a gubernatorial election scheduled for September 19th, 2020, we would plead with you not to allow the enormous prestige of your office to be used by unscrupulous persons to turn our state into a theatre of war.”
“Whilst offering you the assurance of our regards, we hope that urgent steps will be taken to ensure that the situation does not degenerate further,” he added.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Campaign Council for Edo State Governorship Election has condemned the illegal invasion of Edo State House of Assembly by political thugs of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Addressing journalists in Port Harcourt today, the Chairman of the Campaign Council and Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, also described the purported impeachment of the legitimately elected Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the Assembly as null and void.
“An invalid assemblage of absentee Lawmakers-elect with no legitimate claims to the membership of the House of Assembly cannot lawfully convene in the Ugbowu private residence of Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, the APC Governorship candidate, to effect a change of leadership in the Edo State House of Assembly.
“Consequently, the purported impeachment of the Speaker and Deputy Speaker is a mere charade, completely a futile act that exists only in the imagination of the evil perpetrators and their co-travelers.
“It is now clear to all discerning minds that what is playing out in Edo State is an orchestrated script by the sinking opposition APC to intimidate the PDP and illegally impeach its candidate, Governor Godwin Obaseki, having seen clearly that they cannot win the September 19, 2020 election without any miracle.
“We, therefore, call on President Muhammadu Buhari and the International Community to prevail on the APC to stop the needless violence, play the game by the rules and allow the people of Edo State to freely elect their Governor,” he stated.
Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, has described the takeover of the State House of Assembly Complex as an attempted coup d’état that is tantamount to treason and contrary to the provisions of the Nigerian Constitution.
He said this in a state-wide broadcast on Friday and gave an assurance that his administration would take all steps necessary to defend the rule of law and democratic ideals.
“Any person or group of persons who set out to test our will in this regard will meet with the full wrath of the law,” the governor warned.
He added, “These events portend grave danger to the safety and security of our polity. It had all the hallmarks of an attempted coup d’état.
“The people of Edo State rose as one to prevent the desecration of our democracy. It is, however, worrisome that certain persons are willing to plunge the society into avoidable anarchy and conflict just to satisfy their illegitimate objectives.”
Governor Obaseki said the crisis in the state legislature dated back to June 17, 2019, when upon his proclamation of the 7th Edo State House of Assembly, some members-elect refused to present themselves for the inauguration.
He explained that a Federal High Court in Port Harcourt, Rivers State had in a judgement delivered on September 12, 2019, held that his proclamation of the House of Assembly was lawful.
According to the governor, the court ruled that the National Assembly cannot take over the function of the Edo State House of Assembly, as the conditions for doing so do not exist.
“The court judgement affirmed that the Assembly was duly inaugurated and held that the governor or any other person could not issue another proclamation,” he said.
Governor Obaseki stated, “Even after this judgement, the 14 members-elect stayed away from the House and refused to be inaugurated to perform their elected role of representing their constituencies.
“Having failed to sit for over 180 sitting days, the leadership of the House of Assembly had no option but to declare their seats vacant and requested the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct fresh elections to fill the vacancies that had then been created.”
The governor noted that following the action by the leadership of the House, the 14 members-elect approached a Federal High Court in Abuja to challenge the constitutionality or otherwise of the declaration of their seats vacant.
He alleged that while the suit was still pending in the court, the situation has festered because a former governor of the state was bent on throwing Edo into crisis ahead of the forthcoming governorship election.
Governor Obaseki, however, commended the resolve of the people in standing up to thwart what he described as the evil plans of undemocratic elements committed to perpetrating illegal assault on democracy.
“These events portend grave danger to the safety and security of our polity. It had all the hallmarks of an attempted coup d’état,” he insisted.
The governor added, “It is, however, worrisome that certain persons are willing to plunge the society into avoidable anarchy and conflict just to satisfy their illegitimate objectives. These acts are tantamount to treason, contrary to the provisions of the Nigerian Constitution.”
According to Philip Shaibu, the ploy was to remove governor Obaseki at the onset and replace him with his deputy, but he said he refused, stating that it was not his “will nor nature” to betray.
Mr. Shaibu recounted how he fought on Oshiomhole’s side, stressing that he hates and has been fighting against oppression, and will not stand for the form of oppression which Oshiomhole is championing.
The deputy governor said he will fight to the very last to ensure that Obaseki is defended, the same way he defended Oshiomhole when there were plots against him in Edo State.
He, however, challenged Oshiomhole to come and test his popularity when the votes are to be cast, claiming that the former chairman of the APC has lost his integrity and is no more the man of the people he once was perceived to be.
The Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki has promised to make the state the business and economic hub of the country, if he is re-elected as governor in the September 19 polls.
He gave this assurance at the launch of his re-election campaign as well as that of his deputy, Philip Shaibu at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin City, the state capital on Saturday.
The governor said it was part of his plan to Make Edo Greater Again, which he said is the theme of his campaign.
“The last time, I said let us go further and we have reached where we are today.
“In a post COVID world, a world that is now defined by social distancing by COVID, where everybody has to now maintain their place, we are saying that we will, by working with you, make Edo greater again,” he said.
“Our message is one of hope and one for the future. The MEGA theme which we have adopted will focus on how to improve governance”.
“We are going to be introducing a lot of technology. We are going to make sure that programmes we are starting particularly with agriculture, youth employment, we are going to insist that we are going to continue in that path.
“Edo will be the business and economic hub of the country.
“We will be because we believe that God has given us everything to become one of the greatest states in this country,” Obaseki said.
Also top on the list of the governor is the restoration of electricity in the state.
According to him, a new plan is underway to revive the power project which had failed earlier.
“I’m sure you are seeing what we are doing with electricity. We invested in Azura, 450 megawatts, that power was put into the grid and now we are darkness in Edo State.
“I have now gone again to look for another set of investors. We invested in another plan and by next month by the grace of God, it would have been completed and we will have electricity in this city.
“I want to assure you that with me and my Deputy, you have two people who are ready to put their lives on the line for you,” he said.
Obaseki is campaigning for a second term in office on the platform of a new party, the Peoples Democratic Party following his defection from the All Progressives Congress, with which he won his first term.
According to the party, his re-election bid is on the strength of the work he has done in the last three years.
The governor thanked the PDP for accepting him into the party.
“When I was thrown out in the rain, and the political storm you gave me the umbrella to shield me, they gave us that umbrella to shield us,” he said.
“To these gallant, trustworthy, members of our National Working Committee, on behalf of the Edo people, I say thank you.
“Now that we have been given the official mandate, we will see what we will do.
“Four years ago, we made a promise to you that we are going to transform Edo State that Edo is the heartbeat of Nigeria and the transformation of the state will lead to the transformation of Nigeria and by the grace of God, that is beginning to happen and it will happen in this election.
“This mandate that has been given to us is simple. What you are saying is, you like what you have seen in the last four years, please go back and continue with what you have done.
“In the last four years, we put our people first and nothing else mattered more than our people. And because we were working for our people, God Almighty has supported us”.